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Author Topic:   Writers carried along by the Holy Spirit...
Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4891 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 1 of 5 (300758)
04-03-2006 11:39 PM


Please respond only if you believe that the Scriptures were authored by the Spirit.
As part of my research from Message 275 in this thread into the mythology of the serpent in ancient pre-Judaic religions, I've come across a few key points that I felt I should inquire further.

1) If you believe that the authors of the Scriptures were moved by the Spirit of God, then what does the passage found in II Peter below mean to you?

2) In other words, what were the dynamics involved-- whether culturally, spiritually, or historically for example?

II Peter writes:

We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

In general, Christianity and Judaism regard the Holy Scriptures as the revealed word of God. However, widespread variation on what this revelation means (or to what extent or what books) it applies to can become very confusing. For example, although Orthodox Jews generally believe that the Torah was given to the Children of Israel at Sinai "Min Hashamayim", from the heavens -- that is, that God actually dictated the words of Torah to Moses atop Mount Sinai -- most Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Jews, as well as many Christian scholars, now accept the documentary hypothesis.

From my own perspective, as is prerequisite for response in this thread, I'll say that I do believe that the Scriptures are in some way authored by God. Refining this more clearly in my own Christian perspective, I believe the authors of the Scriptures wrote as they were directed by the inspiration of the Spirit of God.

However, when I say that I believe this, I'm not saying that I believe that the individual books of the Scriptures were penned at one time as a whole. I believe the Scriptures were, for example, subject to expansion and editting by the Holy Spirit as the times and cultures changed around the Hebrew culture which embraced them-- permitted so long as the editting did not contradict the primal revelation. As another example, I also believe that God allowed a remnant of a primal revelation in man's distant past to disperse via the Holy Spirit thoughtout the cultures of humanity. This is to say, I believe the naratives of ancient religions carried a distant memory of the primal revelation -- albeit, a distant memory distorted over time. In addition to this, in confirmation with the Scriptures themselves, I believe that, since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities -- his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

In other words, in my own opinion, I think there are different levels of revelation. And although all levels, each with their own corresponding level of responsibility, are inspired by the Holy Spirit, I still nonetheless believe that the Holy Spirit can communicate to us by various mediums and peoples, including other monotheists, polytheists, and atheists. He most especially, notwithstanding their religious or non-religious background, presents himself to us through the the poor. He indwells us by his Holy Spirit, allegorically speaking, bringing about birthpangs in our soul much like a woman bearing a child. And, manifesting the primal sacrament of Christ on the cross like a tesseract transfigured thoughout time and space, he is truly present to us in the Eucharist.

Acts 7:22 writes:

Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was powerful in speech and action.

Coming back to the initial composition of the Scriptures during the time of Moses, however, my own personal opinion is that when Moses was called by God in Egypt, God allowed Moses to be educated within the cosmopolitan philosophies of Pharaoh's court for a unifying reason. In Egypt, Moses had access to an extensive body of ancient writings by which God brought together the most primal themes of humanity's distant past. Orally, I believe that Moses carried with him the traditions from the time of Abraham -- so he was most familiar with this information. Academically, when the Israelite traditions were coupled with the distant memories contained within the written archives of humanity's ancient past, he was also familiar to a lesser degree with our primal origins. Spiritually, as moved by the Holy Spirit, he was in communion with the Lord Jesus and placed firmly within a position whereby he could clearly grasp the Lord's will and unify all these sources.

Rabbi Elijah writes:

The world will exist six thousand years. The first two thousand years were those of chaos [without the Torah]. The second two thousand years were those under the Torah. The last two thousand years are the messianic years.

Although I don't believe the world has been around for merely 6,000 years, in the scope of recent human history since the last ice age, this quote noted above does somewhat capture what I believe as far as the earliest peoples of the world rising out of am initial period of darkness. I believe God inspired Moses to whittle away the multiple layers of alternative thinking to recapture -- whether by poetic utterances, prophetic statements, or moral instruction -- the primal historical revelation of man's common origins once again. And this is the dialectic that I believe the Holy Scriptures have undergone over the course of human history.

In other words, although I don't believe the Scriptures are a gradual invention of humanity's collective "unconscious" religious thinking over time, they still nonetheless appear to be a progressive "dialectic" revelation of God's original will by the Holy Spirit-- the same Spirit which has been calling all of humanity from the very beginning.

This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 04-04-2006 06:24 AM


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by AdminPhat, posted 04-04-2006 6:35 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

AdminPhat
Administrator
Posts: 1945
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 2 of 5 (300786)
04-04-2006 6:35 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
04-03-2006 11:39 PM


Scripture in light of culture and intentions
This is a controversial issue and a long-winded opening topic.

In my non-admin mode, I would likely get involved in such a discussion with you, Mr. Ex! :) As an administrator, however, I have to judge the promoteability of a topic such as this in light of how it is likely to be perceived by others.

We doubtless have our in-house creationists who will use a thread such as this to go on and on about why the Bible is literal and why it is true and why the plain text reading of the script is plain.

Now...in regards to Message 275 in this threadI want to ask you a question.

Your debate was, briefly, as follows:

Mr.Ex-Nihilio writes:

I'm no expert, but I have studied these things a lot. I can pretty much guarantee you guys that there's very little left in regards to my faith that I haven't examined in-depth. Besides that, I'm not actually into homiletics that much (not that this would be bad). But, technically speaking, I'm actually more of a dialectic type researcher than anything else.


Ringo writes:

How can a plain text reading "capture the full range of Jewish thought"? A plain text reading is what the words say, not every conceivable implication of what they say.


Mr.Ex-Nihilio writes:

But that's my point: there's no such thing as a 'plain text' reading of the Genesis acount.

My question is this: Are you attempting to discuss the zeitgeist of the times surrounding 2 Peter?

Mr.Ex writes:

In other words, although I don't believe the Scriptures are a gradual invention of humanity's collective "unconscious" religious thinking over time, they still nonetheless appear to be a progressive "dialectic" revelation of God's original will by the Holy Spirit-- the same Spirit which has been calling all of humanity from the very beginning.

  • Explain to the reader what you mean by progressive "dialectic' revelation in regards to 2 Peter. Leave the OT out of this one!

    Get back to me, answer this, and DO edit the opening post a bit. You can gradually introduce some of your concepts and beliefs as the post unwinds through interaction.

    (revise and respond by April 10th)

    This message has been edited by AdminPhat, 04-04-2006 04:46 AM



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  • This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 04-03-2006 11:39 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 3 by AdminPhat, posted 04-04-2006 6:59 AM AdminPhat has not yet responded
     Message 4 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 04-04-2006 9:00 PM AdminPhat has not yet responded

    AdminPhat
    Administrator
    Posts: 1945
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-03-2004


    Message 3 of 5 (300791)
    04-04-2006 6:59 AM
    Reply to: Message 2 by AdminPhat
    04-04-2006 6:35 AM


    Purpledawn? Jar? Christian? Help me on this one
    I need some other admins to look at Mr. Ex-Nihilios opening post. It is good, but I think it a bit long. Can any of you help me shed some light on Mr. Ex's extremely detailed efforts??

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 2 by AdminPhat, posted 04-04-2006 6:35 AM AdminPhat has not yet responded

    Mr. Ex Nihilo
    Member (Idle past 4891 days)
    Posts: 708
    Joined: 04-12-2005


    Message 4 of 5 (301000)
    04-04-2006 9:00 PM
    Reply to: Message 2 by AdminPhat
    04-04-2006 6:35 AM


    Re: Scripture in light of culture and intentions
    AdminPhat writes:

    This is a controversial issue and a long-winded opening topic.

    I realize it's long. But I was trying to cover all the general topics that would be involved in this discussion.

    Admittedly, this section could probably come off from the OP:

    Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

    In other words, in my own opinion, I think there are different levels of revelation. And although all levels, each with their own corresponding level of responsibility, are inspired by the Holy Spirit, I still nonetheless believe that the Holy Spirit can communicate to us by various mediums and peoples, including other monotheists, polytheists, and atheists. He most especially, notwithstanding their religious or non-religious background, presents himself to us through the the poor. He indwells us by his Holy Spirit, allegorically speaking, bringing about birthpangs in our soul much like a woman bearing a child. And, manifesting the primal sacrament of Christ on the cross like a tesseract transfigured thoughout time and space, he is truly present to us in the Eucharist.

    As far as potential controversy is concerned, however, I have attempted to treat the topic with as much respect as possible.

    AdminPhat writes:

    In my non-admin mode, I would likely get involved in such a discussion with you, Mr. Ex! :)

    And I would welcome your input.

    AdminPhat writes:

    As an administrator, however, I have to judge the promoteability of a topic such as this in light of how it is likely to be perceived by others.

    Hmmm...

    I have to admit that I've never seen this topic as being overly controversial. Certainly more sensitive topics have been brought up here.

    AdminPhat writes:

    We doubtless have our in-house creationists who will use a thread such as this to go on and on about why the Bible is literal and why it is true and why the plain text reading of the script is plain.

    I've never seen this being an objection to other potential threads being started. Taking your point and putting it in regards to the topic of evolution, one could just as easilly retort, "We doubtless have our in-house creationists who will use a thread such as this to go on and on about why evolution is a lie and why it is false and why the plain understanding of the geological record and fossil evidence of the earth is plain."

    AdmiPhat writes:

    Now...in regards to Message 275 in this threadI want to ask you a question.

    Your debate was, briefly, as follows:

    Mr.Ex-Nihilio writes:

    I'm no expert, but I have studied these things a lot. I can pretty much guarantee you guys that there's very little left in regards to my faith that I haven't examined in-depth. Besides that, I'm not actually into homiletics that much (not that this would be bad). But, technically speaking, I'm actually more of a dialectic type researcher than anything else.

    Ringo writes:

    How can a plain text reading "capture the full range of Jewish thought"? A plain text reading is what the words say, not every conceivable implication of what they say.

    Mr.Ex-Nihilio writes:

    But that's my point: there's no such thing as
    a 'plain text' reading of the Genesis acount.

    My question is this: Are you attempting to discuss the zeitgeist of the times surrounding 2 Peter?

    Yes. But with a catch.

    The authors of the Scriptures apparently did not believe they were carrying mythical traditions. At least the Scriptures themselves never seem to make this claim about themselves. My inclusion of the II Peter passage was placed there to capture a thought that many Jewish people over the millennia indeed felt were true as well. It jives very easilly with a passage from the Hebrew Scriptures such as this...

    Psalm 105:5 writes:


    Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced...

    Or again...

    Psalm 143:5 writes:


    I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.

    Clearly, those Israelites who carried the traditions of Moses did not believe they were following cleverly invented stories. Consequently, in a Christian context, this is precisely what the II Peter passage is saying as well.

    Mr.Ex writes:

    In other words, although I don't believe the Scriptures are a gradual invention of humanity's collective "unconscious" religious thinking over time, they still nonetheless appear to be a progressive "dialectic" revelation of God's original will by the Holy Spirit-- the same Spirit which has been calling all of humanity from the very beginning.

    AdminPhat writes:

  • Explain to the reader what you mean by progressive "dialectic' revelation in regards to 2 Peter.
  • I kind of already did-- as breifly as I could without going more overboard than I apparently already did...

    Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

    Coming back to the initial composition of the Scriptures during the time of Moses, however, my own personal opinion is that when Moses was called by God in Egypt, God allowed Moses to be educated within the cosmopolitan philosophies of Pharaoh's court for a unifying reason. In Egypt, Moses had access to an extensive body of ancient writings by which God brought together the most primal themes of humanity's distant past. Orally, I believe that Moses carried with him the traditions from the time of Abraham -- so he was most familiar with this information. Academically, when the Israelite traditions were coupled with the distant memories contained within the written archives of humanity's ancient past, he was also familiar to a lesser degree with our primal origins. Spiritually, as moved by the Holy Spirit, he was in communion with the Lord Jesus and placed firmly within a position whereby he could clearly grasp the Lord's will and unify all these sources.

    When I refer to a progressive "dialectic' revelation, I'm proposing a kind of inverse dialectic where the end is already known from the beginning-- even if those who carry the traditions do not actually realize this. It seems to me that TS Eliot expressed this best when he said:

    TS Eliot writes:

    "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

    In a nonchronological theory of literary history, T.S. Eliot proposes a simultaneous existence and order of all written art. This manifests itself in the evolution of a continuous string of exposition so that earlier work is always being altered through the introduction of later work.

    Coming back to Hegel's dialectic, Jim Meskauskas notes in his article:

    Simply put, the dialectical method involves the notion that the form of historical movement (process or progress), is the result of conflicting opposites. This area of Hegel's thought has been broken down in terms of the categories of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Hegel's philosophy of history embraces the concept that a conflict of opposites is a struggle between actual and potential worlds.

    A thesis can be seen as a single idea. The idea contains a form of incompleteness that gives rise to the antithesis, a conflicting idea. A third point of view, a synthesis, arises from this conflict. It overcomes the conflict by reconciling the truths contained in the thesis and antithesis at a higher level. The synthesis is a new thesis. It generates a new antithesis, and the process continues until truth is arrived at.

    Whereas Hegel proposed his dialectic as a synthesis between thesis and antithesis leading ultimately toward greater perfection, an inversed dialectic would likewise contend that there is a synthesis between thesis and antithesis-- but it's ultimate synthesis would be the result of returning toward the primal conditions from the beginning.

    AdminPhat writes:

    Leave the OT out of this one!

    But that's the main starting point of the Scriptures composition. :confused:

    In fact, I specifically started the inquiry exactly at Moses because he is precisely where many believe that the scribing of the Scriptures from oral traditions began. The main thrust of my research is to examine the cultures, religious beliefs, and philosophies of the nations that came prior to, alongside with, and departed from Judaism.

    In other words, I want to find out what the human authors of the Torah were thinking when they were guided by the Spirit of God to use their human intellect and choose the most appropriate symbolism for the first five books of the Bible.

    If I can't begin my inquiry with Moses, then any examination of what the 'plain text' of the Genesis account meant seems to be funadmentally uselsss.

    AdminPhat writes:

    Get back to me, answer this, and DO edit the opening post a bit. You can gradually introduce some of your concepts and beliefs as the post unwinds through interaction.

    (revise and respond by April 10th)

    I've given my feedback. What do you suggest I do from here?


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 2 by AdminPhat, posted 04-04-2006 6:35 AM AdminPhat has not yet responded

    AdminPhat
    Administrator
    Posts: 1945
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-03-2004


    Message 5 of 5 (301017)
    04-04-2006 11:46 PM


    Thread copied to the Writers carried along by the Holy Spirit... thread in the Faith and Belief forum, this copy of the thread has been closed.

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